Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Roasted Strawberry Buttermilk Cake

Strawberry buttermilk cake

I don't know about you, but I'm starting to really feel summer.  We've already been to the beach, the pool, and even for a small hike.  I love being able to get outside, but more importantly, I love summer foods.  Nectarines, peaches, and berries have been arriving and looking gorgeous at our grocery store and I couldn't be happier.  When I saw this recipe, it just screamed summer to me with fresh strawberries and buttermilk.

Strawberry buttermilk cake

We brought this cake to a party the Monkey Scientist's office has every year for the team members ending their 2-year Fellowship (like him).  I was really excited to meet everyone who he works with.  I've heard many of their names for a long time, it was nice to be able to associate each one with a face.  The dinner was absolutely lovely.  There was tons of food and everyone was really nice.  His PI made us all feel at home in his house, which always makes for a particularly enjoyable party.

Oh yeah, and the cake!  Everyone seemed to enjoy the cake!  I had to make it the day before and keep it in the fridge, so honestly it was a bit dried out.  But the flavors were great - I think that the almond extract was KEY!  The strawberries were delightful, but you could really use any type of berry or fruit (peach slices would be great!) on top.  It was so easy to throw together - I recommend it for any summer event!

Strawberry buttermilk cake

Roasted Strawberry Buttermilk Cake
from joy the baker

Roasted Strawberries:
8-oz (1/2 lb) medium strawberries, hulled
2 tbsp maple syrup
1 tbsp olive oil
pinch of salt
2 tsp balsamic vinegar
Buttermilk Cake:
2 1/2 c all-purpose flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 c granulated sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 large eggs
1 1/2 c buttermilk
1/4 c unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
1/4 tsp pure almond extract
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
roasted strawberries
3 tbsp turbinado sugar for topping

To make the strawberries:
1. Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
2. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. The strawberries get juicy, so a rimmed baking sheet is important. Set aside.
3. Cut each strawberry in half and place in a mixing bowl. In a small bowl, whisk together maple syrup, olive oil, and salt (notice I didn't say balsamic vinegar...made that mistake). Whisk together until completely incorporated. Drizzle the mixture over the strawberries and toss until each strawberry is coated. Arrange strawberries in a single layer across prepared baking sheet.
4. Roast strawberries for 40 minutes. The juices will thicken, but remove the strawberries from the oven before the juices begin to burn. Remove the berries and juice from the pan while still warm. Place in a small bowl, stir in balsamic vinegar, and set aside.
To make the cake:
1. Place a rack in the center of the oven and heat oven to 400 degrees F. Butter an 11-inch cast iron skillet. You can also use an 11-inch round tart or quiche pan, or a 9×13-inch pan… although the cake will be more thin and you’ll need to keep a close eye on it in the oven.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Set aside.
3. In a small bowl, whisk together buttermilk, eggs, and butter. Whisk in the vanilla or almond extract.
4. Add the buttermilk mixture all at once to the dry ingredients. Stir until just combined and no lumps remain. Spoon batter into the prepared pan. Top batter with half of the roasted strawberries and juice. Sprinkle generously with turbinado sugar.
5. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Allow cake to cool to room temperature before slicing to serve. Serve with the remaining roasted strawberries.

Cake will last, well wrapped in the refrigerator, for up to 3 days.

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